tv Discussion Focuses on Future of Iran Nuclear Deal CSPAN February 24, 2017 3:35pm-5:02pm EST
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the heritage foundation hosted a panel discussion recently on the current status and future of the iran nuclear agreement. analysts critical of the agreements current span standing offer their recommendations for what the trump administration should do to encourage its enforcement and ensure its intended purpose of preventing iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. this is just under 90 minutes. >> ... why is it so quiet? good afternoon, welcome to the heritage foundation and are douglas and sarah allison auditorium. we welcome those joining us on our heritage.org website on this occasion. for those in house, we asked
that our mobile devices have been silenced, turned off as we prepared to begin and for those watching online, you are welcome to send questions or comments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and of course we will post the program on the heritage home page following today's presentation as well. leaving our discussion is jim phillips who is senior research fellow for middle eastern affairs and are douglas and sarah and allison center for studies. he's a veteran foreign-policy specialist who has written widely on the middle east and issues of international terrorism . he is coming to the heritage foundation in 1979, author dozens of pages on a random, its nuclear program, its use of terrorism and has testified before congress on iran's nuclear program and other middle east issues. join me in welcoming jim phillips, jim ? >> thank you john. the iran nuclear agreement has been enforced now for more than a year but yet
faces a very uncertain future. as a presidential candidate, donald trump indicated that he would overturn the deal or also indicated that he may enforce it so tightly that the iranians may walk away from it. but as president, he has been in no hurry to rep up the deal and it appears the administration is still reviewing its options. our critics charge that the nuclear deal only slowed iran's uraniumenrichment program, it did not call it . and that the administrations promises that the deal would help to moderate iran's behavior have not come to pass. iran still does very provocative middle tests, though supports terrorism, still expanding a military intervention in syria and harassing us navy ships and other international ships in
the persian gulf. supporters of the deal indicate that almost all of those things were not included in the deal. and that the deal did reduce iran's stockpiles of uranium enrichment for a few years in order to buy time for possibly diffusing this crisis. so how well has the jc doa worked and i should do the nuclear deal also for a program of action adjacent to toa. how well has jc po worked, what are the strengths and weaknesses, what positions should the trump administration take on the deal going forward. to answer these and other actions we have a knowledgeable panel of experts and i will be introducing them as theyspeak . first speaker is fred
flights, senior vice president for policy and programs of the center for security policy. fred served in the us national security positions for 25 years at the cia, department of state and house intelligence committee staff. during the administration, president george w. bush, he was chief of staff to john bolton and the under secretary of state for arms control and international security. during his tenure with the house intelligence committee he was the staff expert on the iranian and north korean nuclear programs and briefed key national intelligence estimates on these two committee members. after he left government in 2011, he founded and served as director of the langley intelligence group network, newsmax medias intelligence and forecasting service. he has published numerous articles in various journals and newspapers. last year published the eye-opening book obama bomb:
a dangerous and growing national security fraud. let me turn it over to fred. >> thanks jim, it's a pleasure to be back heritage to discuss the national security issue and it's very humbling to be on a panel with some of america's leading experts on this issue. jim, you've written extensively on this issue. and iaea official who i've known for a noble of years and who knows half of what is going on with iran's program . and david albright has produced information that i don't think i know which end was up. i might add reports he has been producing despite pressure from the foreign-policy staff and obama administration to pull his budget. he's not going to talk about that but i respect him as a hard-hitting, for not pulling his punches. donald trump said repeatedly
during the campaign that the nuclear deal with iran is one of the worst deals the united states have ever negotiated. he has implied that he would tear up the deal. he renegotiated the deal with other options he discussed right now. mister trump is right, this really is a terrible deal that is in danger to international security but the question is what can mister trump do about it? i'm going to discuss three options on the table for mister trump to deal with it. i first want to talk about why and there's two principal reasons for this. first of all, jc po a widget arises and normalizes iran's nuclear program and second, it allows iran to continue to engage in nuclear weapons related activities. why is that a problem? >> iran is nuclear infrastructure in defiance of its treaty obligations under
the plural proliferation treaty, dated in secret. it is a state sponsor of terror and had been the position until early in the obama administration that certain technologies, although they are peaceful applications, iran should not be able to do because they are simply too easy to use to make weapons. however, the obama administration was so desperate for an agreement, it made concession over concession to give away these dangerous technologies because it wanted to get a nuclear agreement for president obama. now, the main technology that is of great concern to strain enrichment. until about 2010 or 2011 the obama administration and the entire us position that iran cannot be allowed to enrich uranium. under the agreement iran can operate 5000 actions, slightly over 5000 centrifuges and develop advanced centrifuges while the agreement is in place. thisallows iran to increase its expertise and technology , it can later use to make
weapons. iran should not be allowed to enrich uranium, that's the position of the israeli government. itshould be our position two. iran also had a reactor , proponents of the deal have praised the fact that under the agreement iran still has a reactor and it will be rebuilt so it will not reduce weapons grade plutonium. that's not exactly the case, this reactor will be rebuilt by the chinese according to the art control association, it will be a source of weapons grade plutonium for years but even if plutonium is not usable as weapons which some experts have said, this agreement will allow iran to acquire expertise and construction and operation of a heavy water reactor. this was an outrageous concession by the united states and it is something i think that's going to make us considerably less safe down the road when this reactor is complete. this reactor has been exempted from an oversight process to safeguard the technology being provided or the construction of this reactor is not for weapons purposes so this is a real
problem. verification under the agreement is very weak. supposedly this has the strongest verification measures of any nuclear agreement in history.in fact, the verification mostly applies to the supply chain and declared nuclear sites. there is a procedure to get access to suspect facilities in non-declared sites but there has to devote a third-party to get that inspection and if iran refuses, in theory sanctions would be snapped back, sanctions that had been expanded under the agreement. if the trump administration attempts to get an authorization of various parties to get a concession like this, the answer is almost certainly no because the europeans won't agree to vote and because iran has threatened to withdraw from the agreement if there are sanctions or snap backs. so i don't think that's an option. in addition, iran is refusing to allow concessions to
military facilities. if there are weapons related activities going on at the weapons facility, iran has said they will not allow protections , and that alone is the big problem. then there are issues left out in these concerned promises by the obama administration that not only the agreement would reduce or elevate the iran's nuclear program, it would bring iran into the nation and make iran relations with the united states. i think we know the last two concessions have not happened. iran has released a dozen missiles and the nuclear agreement was announced. missiles have been fired by the fuji rebels which is an iranian proxy, and into the red sea and american uae and saudi ships, iran has continued to support terrorism, probably finance by the enormous amount of money it received with sanctions under the agreement. but missiles are something that's worth talking about a little bit of light. we were told early in the nuclear talks that this would
be included in the agreement with the iranians refusing to include it so instead there is a provision concerning this test and an annex to a security council resolution that endorsed the agreement but what really wasn't known at the time is that this language barring iranian missile tests were eight years. we weakened previous security council resolutions and only applies to missile tests that are designed to carry nuclear warheads. now, let's be real. these missiles are a nuclear weapon delivery system. they are not being built to fire monkeys into space or payloads followed dynamite. they are nuclear weapons delivery systems. they carry nuclear bombs to israel and the united states and that's their purpose. iran is the only nation in history to have a missile with a range of 2000 miles or more without a weapon system
so let's not pretend this is not part of the nuclear weapons program, it was another irresponsible concession the obama administration to get this would allow the agreement to go through without a partner. >> this is why every time iran tests amissile , it tests about a dozen since the agreement was announced, they have not been confined to the nuclear agreement and the uranian prime minister has bragged, he worked for over a year to get this language so they contested it to pretend they were not part of the nuclear program. so i think this is a bad deal for many reasons. i think it makes us less safe, it gets iran closer to new nuclear weapon and i think iran is able to cheat on the agreement and it will not be caught. what should president do about it? there's three options that i see for him. tara the agreement, renegotiate the agreement or pursue a policy of strictly enforcing the agreement.
in my view, tearing up the agreement is the best option. this agreement is a fraud. it was so fraudulent to the american people, there are numerous ideals that were not close to congress when it voted on the agreement in september of 2015. it was negotiated not only over the objections of one of our closest allies but behind their backs of our allies in the middle east. i think this is a big deal. we conducted nuclear negotiations with north korea, included regional states and consulted them. this agreement was initiated with no input from regional states. jay solomon writes about this in his book about how regional states were stunned at what iran was loud allowed to keep under an agreement to reduce the threat from his nuclear program. it was a betrayal and that's the reason why this president has to impound. this agreement undermines important nonproliferation efforts the united states has been pursuing to stop the proliferation of uranium enrichment and fuel reprocessing.
this is something the bush administration worked hard on and negotiated an agreement to share nuclear technology with united arab emirates in which we will share nuclear technology provided that the nation was sharing it with angry not to and rich for process or produce plutonium. the obama administration backed away from that standard. this was a serious mistake because the more nations were allowed to enrich and process fuel means the more nations who will have covert nuclear programs. this was a mistake. we have to return to the gold standard. we have to return to nonproliferation and processing of uranium enrichment. i think that of the options the president is looking at, renegotiation is more likely. i can live with renegotiation because i'm confident that our trump team ultimately will either push for a deal that actually addresses the threat from your end nuclear program,
brings in other crucial issues such as ballistic missiles and sponsorship of terrorism or iran will back out of the agreement but the objections we hear about this, first, a multilateral agreement. we can't renegotiate on its own and what general mattis says, the us has to keep his agreements. these are both false arguments. it's not really a multilateral agreement, this is a negotiation almost entirely to the united states and iran. mostly in secret. read jay solomon's book, he writes about how western state had their arms twisted to go along with all the confessions on john kerry worked out with the iranians. these other nations are just along for the ride. that can't be the case. and starting why the us should keep its commitment, the us does not have to keep its commitment to an agreement that is a fraud. this is a fraud. this agreement was fraudulently pushed forward, it's a danger to national security. the american people through
the last two years have learned about one unfair concession after another. and you imagine what the u.s. congress would have done when it voted on this agreement in september 2015 if they knew it was a secret deal to pay ransom to get american hostages out of iran. i know the obama administration says the release of the american prisoners was related to the nuclear deal. give me a break, of course it was related. of course there was an agreement with the iranians. they would not release those prisoners until they got sanctions wait, it's no accident that our prisoners were released on the same day that iran got its sanctions released in the same day we flew a plane load of cash to iran. this was not disclosed what the administration was doing in celebration in january 2015, january 2016 about the success of the deal, it was revealed in the wall street journal a few months later. any other confessions like this which is why i say the agreement is a fraud. united states did not have
finally, strictly enforcing, that seems to be the objection of the day right now. >> and the reason people are pushing this is because the argument is well, for multilateral agreements, our allies are stuck with this if we back, that's strictly enforcing and force iran to back out. there are several problems with that argument. his approach legitimizes the fraudulent agreement. we know this is a fraudulent agreement and in this process, second of all, this is a very important point, iran can advance its nuclear program, its weapons program and be in full compliance with the agreement because it's learning how to enrich uranium. it's learning how to build centrifuges. it will gain access to technology on heavy water reactors. it doesn't make sense to use it strictly enforced project. this is a serious debate. there seems to be a hybrid
approach that i'm hearing right now, this was mentioned in the recent discussion in your well, we push for full access for inspectors. we will push for dropping the sunset provisions, important aspects of the agreement. our suspending and intended in 15 years, we will ask for better reporting to the ie i a and tighten the procurement channel, these are things talk about that will strictly enforce and renegotiate. i'm sorry, but if you're stuck in an agreement that must arrive enrich, we are endangering national security. we are perpetuating a fraud. that's not good. it has to be an approach that stops iran from enriching, ran from having access to technology to produce plutonium and makes iran answer the questions for weapons records. >> i think in the end, the best approach would be to try to renegotiate. i don't expect uranium would corroborate and they may back out. next, we could put public sanctions on iran to stop transfers on all nuclear and missile technologies as well as any interaction with
financial institutions babies technology. and in addition there should be sanctions related to iran's authorship of terror, the stabilization. any company that produces nuclear technology should not be allowed to sell to iran, counter and how to support its nuclear program agrees to an arrangement where the are sure is not pursuing nuclear weapons. that's the approach to this thing and i believe that president trump meant it when he said this is a terrible agreement and i expect him to keep his promise that he will either renegotiate agreement or rip it up, i don't think there are any other options, thank you. >>. >> thank you fred. >> our next speaker is david albright. even is founder and president of the nonprofit institute or science and international security in washington dc. he's written numerous assessments on a secret nuclear weapons programs through the world. these published articles on
numerous technical policy due journals and has authored four books including peddling peril, how we armed america's enemies. he specified numerous times on nuclear issues before the u.s. congress read these brief government decision-makers and train many government officials and nonproliferation policy making. he's often been cited in the media and appeared frequently on television and radio. david cooperated actively with the international atomic energy agency or iaea action team from 1992 until 1997. august on analysis of the iraqi documents and past procurement activities. june 1996 he was the first nongovernmental inspector of the iran nuclear program. prior to founding institute, he worked as a senior staff scientist at the federation of american scientists and as
a member of the research staff or princeton university's center for energy and environmental studies. >> thank you very much. >> for holiness event chairman and fred and ali. >> what i like to do is maybe for a little bit into the weeds for lack of a better word. give an overview of the discussions happening within the administration and i don't know how those will end up. but what i like to do is focus on one of the issues of today and it deals in place, meetings are having, decisions are being made that the united states needs to be actively involved in those discussions and i like to talk a bit at the end on some of what i would call the long-term efficiencies and deals related to several of them. the duration is probably the most concerning.
it's limitations or sunsetting of conditions on the nuclear deal and any ballistic missile sanctions either un and that happens in eight years and in five years there's an end on conventional arms embargoes to iran. one of the concerns is that iran would merge in later years after 10 years, particularly after year 15 and could end up with a robust nuclear weapons ability where it produced the material for a bomb in days for no more than weeks. it would have intercontinental long-range ballistic missiles that would hold nuclear warheads and it would have a tremendous conventional arms force that would make any kind of military response move the point and would be a conventional horse to allow iran to be quite aggressive in the region. so i think the future looks
bleak from that point of view. and again, the obama administration hoped the future looked great but things have been going in that way so i think we have to think about this deal as an attempt to kick the can down the road which can turn into a very dangerous road. future mediation needs to happen now. i would emphasize and confirm what fred said, from a technical point of view a nuclear weapon is a warhead and a delivery system. if you're going to talk about a militarily useful weapon, you want to talk about a nuclear test, it can be the device itself but as a militarily useful weapon, it's a delivery system. to say that anyone or limiting one and not limiting the other only works so far. and the nuclear program can come back full-blown and greatly expand at the time when you can have a very robust missile delivery
system, having accomplished what you set out to do of keeping iran from getting nuclear weapons. i would like to add a few things on the implementation. a lot of my comments really are on whatto do today , it's a living agreement. there are decisions that need to be made. there's been too much secrecy on this deal. one of the things that got us started on just trying to uncover what's going on is a person at my organization met someone in theadministration who said literally, i won't go into the details but if you knew what we were doing you'd be shocked. and of course , a group like my own that's like waving a red flag in front of all the we decided to start digging into some of these. these things that were going on and mostly it was what's called the joint commission. >> and what were they
deciding in secret and we eventually found out that they were that we saw as iranians. >> and i would say under much pressure and after donald trump was elected, the joint session decided to release many of its decisions. and i think they show that too many concessions were made. there were precedents created that are helpful for from the us point of view on the deal and that's even among people who may be neutral or supported deal. >> there were, fred mentioned , i have been able to go to military sites. >> concerned that if you can't go to military sites, one, you can't settle the questions of the panel that the way the weapons work that you can't verify conditions in the agreement that banned certain nuclear weapons elements. >> and there is a breakthrough in this kind of thing, you can't verify them.
>> or you really able to say this deal is adequately verified. >> and the concern is that you are creating no go zones or iran is creating no go zones with this country. and that could become problematic in later years as we worry more and more about how to revive a nuclear weapons program. ali, are you going to talk about archie? let me say that the deal also involved in an arrangement between the ia and iran that limited types of action of the agency could do, in this case with the military site that iran didn't want to allow access to so it limited what the eye iaea could do. nonetheless, traces of uranium to, confirmed a clandestine nuclear weapons program site. but they can't go back to the straighten it out. in japan, it would have
screamed like a murder if japan wouldn't have allowed them to go back in and clarify this issue. you have an inspection arrangement that was just left dangling. you also have one that in my view, it's very concerning. we do a lot of work on the enforcements, checking on the procurement with countries like iran, north korea and enforcing it. and we learned that during the negotiations , and for some amount of time afterward, us enforcement efforts were being interfered with because of fear that it would affect the iran deal what does that mean? on iranian agents or iranian us laws to try to stay into them under us law. x the investigation was launched and the fbi, homeland security investigation, the commerce department and you find the
people, you indict them . so you can either lure them to the country where they could be extradited or us territory where they can rescue . and you need the state department, the state department at the highest levels blocks those processes either directly or did not do at all. and the extradition request, the first one in this series was only approved shortly before the administration. >> so we feel that it's just been too many concessions made and too permissive of an environment has been created around the steel so what i want to do is talk about what should be done now. and this is independent of any discussion of the safety of this deal. >> there's things that the administration needs to do and the meetings it has, one is there needs to be much more clarity.
there needs to be much more information in its report so we can know what's going on, alluded to some of our reports, a lot of those are just supporting on what the ia reports on, trying to make sense of them and filling holes. the ia report on almost nothing on the deal as and we want to see much more.we like to see these parallel agreements like the one between the ia and she publicly released long-term enrichment. >> there's one about the finances. >> we've also, this is more prevention, we like to make sure the ia has access to the literary site in iran there has to be guaranteed, timely access . that's hard to see how you get that in the short term but you can see how you would start working on all this, the us has tremendous influence. it's an ia issue, ultimately. there needs to be several loopholes for it to work in this agreement and i'll
mention one on heavy water, i'll mention two. any water, where the iranians were able to negotiate that despite 130 ton heavy water, they were able to in essence have 870 ton violation of that by having a little trick where it split over in a line. and that's really what the deal is about. >> it can reduce the stock to transfer overseas. haven't sold it so they were able to cash in their own bond we like to see that google fixed. we have ways to do it which i'm sure are fairly straightforward. another ongoing is iran and pushing the envelope on centrifuges. the inspectors need to try to be able to do more and there's a need to really crackdown on that. give iran abide by the conditions that agreed to and interpret those conditions
were consistent with what i would call just sort of short reading is of the deal or literal readings of the deal. >> iran wants to be able to make low enriched in radium fuel. >> wants to have a very large enrichment program at the end and building up to that, it's trying to develop the centrifuges. it's also trying to lay the basis to be able to enriched uranium fuel inside iran. and i think one of the priorities of the administration is to try to block back. tried to block them from developing centrifuges and that gets to this 300 kilogram on enriched uranium that the administration should from now on say look, no more exemptions. and we just leave it at 300 kilograms and don't allow exemptions and if iran would develop the ability to fuel, it's going to have to learn how to enrich, take the
enriched uranium, put it into fuel. these two elements old typically 500 kilograms of low-grade fuel assemblies. the fuel assembly, you're going to have to go over the cabinet. a full-scale assembly. so if you wanted to then start deploying fuel, you're going to go way over the cap. iran plans to do that. we also know they want test fuel. i want a probe in germany to try to get hot cells to the 40 site that could have been construed as trying to get around limitations in the agreement on investigating irradiated fuel. they don't know fully what they were going to do. it was certainly a probe that was troubling implications and of course germany said no but it raises another problem , is the fuel can ask for
whatever it wants so on that site, you can go out and ask this case hot cells. and ask the nuclear establishment to try to ask for carbon fiber. and so another loophole is this ability to ask anywhere, we know from experience when they start going to places like china, the suppliers will provide it so in the german case things were visible ultimately area in the chinese case, it might not be visible at all and they can acquire these and we won't even know about. this is again, part of the deal is the supplier is responsible for getting approvals for procurements that are in essence control or band, not there and so karen doesn't have to declare. i think the question on being
able to go out and seek what it wants, it seems like pushing to develop fabrication capabilities. for example, they are even pushing to get more and it's time that pushback happened. so they actually don't get an biggest lesson it would be more consistent. i think again, these are things that didn't happen right away. another one is we don't really know how much or is there nuclear cooperation between iran. >> there's a burning question. we know there's a lot of cooperation and that's probably band bible north korea sanctions, revolutions or un resolutions, iranian ones but it's happening and there's a need to try to get a handle on that and to try to those activities. when it comes down to also is that there is a need for the
administration to step up its interdiction efforts, intelligence collection efforts in europe. there's less effort put into some of these issues involving iran because they've been given a clean bill of health now. what we focused on introductions, intelligence on serious iranian activities is the focus much of the world is on building trade. so i think the trump administration is going to have to work and knowledge to build back up more capabilities to detect iranian activities and to stop it and then certainly, the us needs to more aggressively force, it's unacceptable that iran can field that they can come here and expand equipment and then play a game where somehow if
you prosecute our people, we will walk away from any of it. and certainly we should listen to that. it's not our problem if rouhani wins the presidency. maybe someone else can add to that. rouhani winning the presidency is not going to make our lives safer based on what's going to happen in the last few years12 to 13 months. >> and certainly , we need to make sure that we have the strongest force under our laws. on the books. >> i think i'm going a little long selected try to wrap up. >> i won't spend too much time on the long term. i think fred and i differ, again this is a technical point of view. we don't like, we don't like the directionand really , iran talks about having an enrichment program, 20 times larger than it had with this program was posed.
under the affirmative action. and it just, that's not acceptable outcome. it's just the danger of the region. what we would sell for i think, again it's very radical. by rouhani standards but we would say you have a rule. iran it should be 12 months from being able to break out and produce enough weapons. and that led to what we talked about, certain centrifuges are allowed. certain enriched uranium, we would say the first order of negotiation should be trying to get 12 months, breakout time is the criteria governing the size of their nuclear program, especially their program. that would be the negotiating poll. it's pretty close to zero. so i think that we would just say, i think what you've got now. >> although you do and i
agree with fred, the verification is not adequate. and isprogram , it sounds like anything. it's like a big security. >> the tight security at a bank, because you have to figure that they're going to learn how to defeat and so you always have to be improving it. and i think in the jcp oa, the other side of this is really liquid. and of course there have to be limits on iranian ballistic missiles. >> that have to be conditions. let me apologize for going long. >> today. and our last speaker is doctor ali, doctor olli heinonen. he is currently a senior advisor on science and nonproliferation at the foundation for defense of democracy in washington. he's also a senior fellow when the harvard kennedy
school of government health center for science and international affairs. his research and teachings include nuclear nonproliferation songs, verification of three different clients, enhancement of the verification work of international organizations and transfer and control of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. before joining the belford center in september 2010, ali served 27 years at the international autonomic agency in vienna. he was a deputy director general of the ite a, head of its department of the agency's organizational decisions and as an inspector including at the iaea's overseas office in tokyo japan. prior to joining the iaea, he was senior research officer of the technical research center of finland's reactor
laboratory in charge of research and development related to nuclear waste solidification and disposal and he's the co-author of several pamphlets on radioactive waste solidification. he's written numerous articles in many western newspapers and magazines. his policy briefings have been published by many think tanks including foundation for defense of democracy at dover center, atlantic council, arnold institute for science and international security which i noticed they don't say isis anymore. and nonproliferation policy education center and the washington institute for immediate policy. ali also is a member of the nonpartisan iran task force and i would encourage you to take your full measure because i was under the impression we hired a hard stop at one but that's not the case so you can do your full briefing. >> thank you very much and thank you for having me here. just to remind you on the
implementation of the jcpoa and the way forward. we have in europe the same that mark the studio and in english, it's the mother of all studies but i'm not going to react this morning. i will add some additional remarks more from my experiences with the iaea or verification in general. how i see the jcpoa, i see it absolutely as a very complex political agreement which puts a lid, a short period of time to rent uranium activities but let's iran at the same time develop more advanced centrifuges and with the long term, it doesn't ask iran to reprocess. this is the way i see the jcpoa.
at least it's a complex agreement. it has set aside centers for the department have agreed how to implement it and here i mean agreements for a 5+1. and also between iran and the iaea. some of the agreements are public, but there are still quite a few of them which are public.and once we have this kind of site agreement or compromise, as the sorry said he practice success of he, he said this was a compromise. where all the parties came off with similar requirements. once you have a compromise, there are a few things you can compromise and there are
a few things you should not compromise. what you should not compromise is exactly what fred said, your long-term nonproliferation, which is not compromise. the other things which you should not compromise our the well-established non-discriminatory identification practices. they have been reverted so we should not compromise those. then when i look at this implementation, the first is the lack of terms. the lack of terms from the iaea activating this and it makes it difficult to read. it's not only nonproliferation wonks like me or david but also the government to understand with where we are if is iran complying with this requirement and under the jcpoa on the other hand because there are no facts available so they can do
their own independent assessments about this for iran tailored activities work in real life. the iaea has bite and you have records perhaps in the statements of some of the member states and particularly i think the us that has provided technical phrasing. that'sfine, that's great . but this is to clarify the technical issues. they are informed so therefore these briefings, there are no records skipped. so the only official statement under record from the iaea is the port of governance, what is recorded there plus the quarterly report and implementation of jcpoa so these are the two documents available for the policymakers on the one hand, policymakers and political decision-makers.
so we should keep this in mind. then as david pointed out, the site agreement set up a special arrangements and its uranium with iran or how you deal with heavy for which in my view are not exactly compatible with long-established standards. let's take for example the sales with this agreement in europe. you have heard some of these have been limited. i think it's important for the international community to do the rationale be on the exemptions and if they are exempted, which measures are in place to resort that those
are not used for processing or other activities which are compatible with the undertaking under the jcpoa. in our reports, we don't see anything. we don't see the any of them in those places or frequency of those visits.that's just an example. then, whatever we think about these agreements, one of the key documents that has been agreed with the 5+1 is the one with measures, the long-term uranium enrichment and program 10 year plan supplemented by iran to the joint commission and subsequently to the iaea. it's one of those documents that has confidence. many countries which have these kind of documents like papers are a way up to
everyone so we can see where the nuclear program is fully and which are the long-term plans and then to see how for example the recent acquisition of iran uranium, where does it fit in this program? why does iran need today 300+ tons of uranium? what's the use where it will be used? similarly, it is a ranch-style desire for nuclear fuel classification. why, what's the rationale behind it when we know that iran's nuclear program most likely is limited in the next 15 years. those who have engineering backgrounds they know that if you build a nuclear fuel productioncapability , it's stupid to have 50 reactors to
serve. iran is not going to have those anytime soon. why does iran need your enriched uranium? it is a well-established market which has been operating for years there's an overproduction of enriched uranium but there's an overproduction of uranium in the market. to my knowledge, there has never been any single nuclear which was not able to override because of lack of fuel so why is this needed? then, going a little bit back to the transfer of this acquisition of uranium, these are not in the iaea reports because iran considers that these are confident because there's confidence here but at the same time there's a book published together by
iaea. the government of iran has new production numbers of uranium. so i am difficult to understand why there's this confidence but there are other publications where this is not confidence.and then, to the last point on the so-called protocol conclusion , this also deviates from the regular practice. the jcpoa says that once the iaea has reached the broader conclusion, iran will cease to ratify the sample. all the other states go the other way around. their state has to ratify the samples and the other samples legally binding. then iaea will study and examine the nuclear program
and provides the conclusion. it goes the other way around in iran and isn't even any timeline to comply with that after the protocol conclusion. then, fred mentioned the question of ballistic missiles and testing which is prescribed if iran is called not to do those tests with significant consulate for 231. and he also mentioned that he went back several months to negotiate the form. it seems a little bit strange to me for two reasons, that iran has these tests with ballistic missiles. you must have gotten those in good faith because he just
agreed that a resolution or it is my question, is there actually a side understanding what constitutes this test and then i would also raise the question that why the cruise missiles are not on that question mark why are we only talking about the ballistic missiles when we know iran has brokered for cruise missiles which some people they say they have already tested, we don't know. the jury is still out. then that means that there are several voices against renegotiating the agreement. based off that this is done, this will undermine the authority of mister rouhani and he may not be able to handle hardliners and they will take forward and we are back to square one and here and will withdrawthe full speed of its nuclear program . the other claim is that there
is no support for that and that's true, there has been no public statements from russia, china and the european union that they are not only willing to negotiate the jcpoa or even the specific counts of the agreement. because they feel that is going to push back on the implementation of facing the jcpoa. and other people say that actually iran will be sufficient to do with the terrorism their behavior and release yemen, involving syria, civil rights, etc. that they are all actually counterproductive from the point of the implementation of the agreement. so an argument, people say that if it's not broke, don't fix it. and if you try to fix,
there's no help. i think that's untrue. these generators don't break until something is broken. you don't want to be airplane to fly and find out there's engine trouble. you don't want to drive the car with no seats. you do preventative maintenance in order to avoid situations. and i think this is exactly where we are today with the jcpoa. it needs preventative maintenance. in order to make sure that iran is not as david mentioned able to do a nuclear weapon in a few weeks time. but then when we look at the way i read the jcpoa, it doesn't mean the renegotiation of the agreement. we should not try to put some of the aspects of the security council to strangle
the implementation of those resolutions but also at the same time, the jcpoa. particularly testing a ballistic missile and cruise missiles. it's a violation and it does have consequences and there are several messages which we can implement without devising the text of the jcpoa. the first one is transparency in the reporting by the activist for the joint committee to recommend that you have to be more open and reporting. many states have reinstituted the report but the, 90 percent has succeeded to agree. and important items there are putting their numbers as david said, verification, coverage, and sections, how often they are done so that
we can see how well iran is complying with these undertakings and what kind of assurances in quantitative terms iaea can provide that iran complies with this requirement. there are questions also related to bnp raised by david and i see that pnt has another aspect. because what is the next milestone in implementation of jcpoa which is important? it's the protocol confusion. it's according to the promises of the jcc should be reached not later than eight years from now but may come much easier. and what it means, means that the iaea concerns the state that iran's nuclear program is peaceful quite
>> conventional arms trade, no sanctions, travel ban for certain iranian military officials, plus then also that certain funds which are still there from other than nuclear program. they all get lifted. so, therefore, these are actually drivers for iran to come in early compliance with this undertaking with the
conclusions. but the most important at this point of time on top of that are two additional messages. the first one is certainly that iran ratifies additional protocol before the protocol concludes. for that one, don't change anything in the jcpoa. it's simply a policy decision from the side of iranian government. it can do it any day. you don't need to make a agreement to this. but then there are more which has to do than nuclear program and i mentioned the uranium, nuclear power program or nuclear plan for the future. what do we agree at the time of the -- by the time of the protocol conclusion is the following. that iran can maintain a small enrichment r&d program, the
weight it is -- the conclusion is reached, which is a very limited concentrated on r&d, small amount of more advanced centrifuges. and at the same time p5+1 provide two things to iran. long-term fuel supply assurance so that they don't need to develop their own fuel capabilities, and they don't need to do any additional uranium enrichment, 10 year plan, and this one. and at the same time provide iran with their currencies to take spent fuel back, which they have sold to iran. that there's no need for reprocessing. that's kind of tenure plan, should be ratified by the joint commission every five years. this plant has to be public, and every five years -- conditions
for example, if you may be more comfortable with iran or the nuclear program has expanded, you may revise some of the parameters. and i think that i stop your with one more sentence, why i say this nuclear energy plan is important, should have said in the beginning. you have heard it the last few weeks that iran is talking about propulsion come using nuclear energy to propel commercial ships. i would like to know from this secret nuclear plan whether it is such -- or is something it has gained within recent months. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, olli. and we will go a period of q&a now. i would just ask you when you ask a question, identify yourself and your affiliation, if you want to advertise it on c-span, or you could just say by
the citizen and i'll just ask one question and then we'll go to the audience. when i talk about the nuclear deal, i often refer to a great quote by the noted philosopher george costanza who once said, this thing is like an onion. the more you peel it, the more it stinks. part of that is because we only find about what's inside this onion to the exposure of these secrets ideals. i remember i think the first one was about the iranian, you alluded to parchin and the fact that the iranians were allowed to inspect that, acting remotely through iaea inspectors. and i wonder if senator cotton and representative mike pompeo had not gone to i think it was the unit to talk to the iaea, if we would know that today, which is incredible that the u.s. congress is blindsided by this kind of secret agreement.
and my question is, do you think there's other secret agreements are out there? and if so, should they be exposed by the trump administration? that would go to anyone who would like to take that. >> i would assume there are more, and they should be made public. if there's classified information in them, although i don't think there can be if it's an agreement with iran or the iaea, but if there are, things that need to be kept secret they can be segregated off and there can be a redaction. but you wholesale make these deals secret, i think it's a fool's errand. the press are going to find out about two of them. we found out about several of them, and so i think you can't keep it secret, and full
transparency i think is the way forward. >> i want to first get a shameless plug for my book, obama obama which is available as a free pdf on a website come securefreedom.org where you can buy from amazon.com. some a posse i will be happy to put in plug in for the book. i think there are secrets ideals and is essentially top administration release of them right now. one wonders what is this information classified? who is being kept from? has not been kept from the parties to the agreement or the iranians that it's being kept from the american people. it's been kept from congress. that's the whole reason these things are confidential. when you classify something you are keeping it from someone. who? who is of being kept from? the american people. i called president trial as soon as possible, maybe today, to order the state department to release every single document of the jcpoa. >> olli speak with maybe a
couple about these inspections to parchin and my long-term experience in the iaea. it was very an ordinary way of conducting inspection. we don't know the details, but if i read from what the iranians say, it's more or less that iaea somewhere nearby and they -- when the iranians took this famous samples which turned out to have some uranium particles. we need a new inspection method. that's what it takes and a talk about a well-established iaea inspection practices. actually in order to do such an inspection, first of all you will test what is assessment. you will assess the vulnerabilities to the method of what twhat you use, how it can e bypassed, what kind of competencies you have as results.
and then you will do field exercises to demonstrate that it is in practice. i don't think in this timeframe which was available there the iaea did it. and i give you a couple of examples. every -- which iaea accepts calls for a couple of years of testing to make sure that it works for the purpose it cannot be defeated, its performance is right. same as with the environmental samples. we ran sample exercises for i think more than two years before the method was accepted as an inspection method. and if we have this kind of remote inspection as this was, this creates a tremendous precedent. actually you can do it anywhere in the world. just keep the operator coming around and asking to poke around and give the pictures.
the iaea has strength, inspection strength is access to sites, location, equipment, people and information. and i don't think this fully met those requirements, this method. >> and with that i would like o open it up to the audience, as mr. harold rhode right here. >> simply background, i worked at the pentagon n irenic cultur. i went to the early stage of arrington revolution and iran studying basic iranian culture. and my question, since i don't know anything about nuclear things, to all of you, is that is there really an agreement -- i know i'll talk about this agreement between iran and come it is really iran and obama here.
and here's the reason i say that. first of all the agreement in english that whatever has been publicized is about a third of what is written in persian. the english version is active. this will be done, this person or this country was responsible for that and all that. that persian version is all passive voice. it will be done. it should be noted that. it isn't clear who's doing what to whom. the second point is that in iranian culture and in iran historically, written agreements don't mean anything. they are steps on a path to get to where you want to go. i know we in the west consider them holy. so whatever this agreement, first of all, we don't know is the persian version matter, the english version, and finally, jim, you used the metaphor here of an onion. in iran, the weight iranians understand irenic culture is
that there is a central core like the center of an onion. that it is protected. it's like an onion. that's what they say. it's layer upon layer upon layer to protect the core and the center. they are clearly the most sophisticated and fascinating culture in the middle east. and everything that all of you were talking about it so easy for them to hide, to disseminate, they don't even call it lying. so if there is an agreement,, what version matters? it all seems to be a joke. >> a sad, political joke on the united states of america. >> george costanza would agree with that. go ahead. >> let me start. i'm not an expert on iranian culture or peel -- another way of looking at that is i would say then that this deal is easy to renegotiate on many levels,
and my experience, in fact, part of my criticism of the last year if that's how iran has been approaching it. if you see something you want, go for it. and they been to exploit an administration that's been fairly weak about saying no. so that jimmy says there's multiple ways, right today, start toughening this thing up and putting out what we want. and then see what happens. and if iran doesn't want to do it, then we can make a decision then. >> this is an important question and it is another reason why this agreement is such a fraud. john kerry as much as admitted it was not negotiate as a treaty because the obama administration knew it couldn't be ratified. and, indeed, when it was voted on in congress most members of congress voted against it although not a two-thirds vetoproof majority necessary to kill the agreement.
the top democrats on house foreign affairs committee and the senate foreign relations committee voted against the agreement. the agreement was a fraud. it is an unsigned nonbinding executive agreement. you're right, there's another version in persian that the iranians think his biting that makes renegotiation strictly enforcing this agreement extremely difficult. >> my father was a lawyer and he used to say to me that law is not how it is written. it is how it is read. and i think this is true also with this iranian agreement. i negotiated agreements with iran 2003 agreement between eu3 and iran. actually implementation of the verification was left up to iaea, together with iran. not injured three. any text. i think i was a good position because you got professionals from both sides to work together. from iran side and our site.
and to create -- great extent, they kept those promises with text for inspection activities. they let us to implement it to great extent. there stop which miller came from the political domain when they say now we can't go over it anymore. then when you go to site, yes, you have a discussion and there is a lady from "new york times" wrote a book on the post-revolution iran. i remember one chapter of the book says iran has rules, but everything is negotiable. and i think this is what you face. this is then where the iaea as the verification organization has trouble when it negotiates additional implementation that it has to back and board of
governors, and it'll type at you need to have a transport reports of people see where the troubles are. >> okay. okay. yes, this man back here. >> pat, just myself. you know, like you said about the likelihood of this working out, what happens in the five, 10, 15 years from now when iran is nuclear and produces a nuclear weapon? what is the endgame? i think that's what the scary thing is. it's not this kabuki dance of whether or not they will produce it. it's a matter of when. >> i think certainly from my point of view we are trying to prevent that future, and that's what the trump administration
now has a chance to do, whether they can do it or not i don't know. if it fails, and let's say you don't want to have military options on the table, you have a very difficult situation. and i would find it very hard to believe that a coach like saudi arabia would maintain just a peaceful program -- a country -- there look at the options today, how do they anticipate a future iranian nuclear weapons program. so i think you're going to have more proliferation. if the deal continues, i would even argue that as armed as iran could become, i'm not sure how military options would really even be feasible, short of a full scale war that maybe we could win it, but it would be pretty bloody. and it's not even clear what would mean or what would follow. so i think again, i would just
emphasize that it think there's an opportunity now to fix this. i don't say a man as particularly strong. i think they are a lot of talk, and often will make concessions. and so i think that should be played out and we should try to get a deal, first get the limitation back on a reasonable track, and then try to renegotiate parts that i really aimed at getting our goals established, which is i was a u.s. goal is nuclear middle east that come if it's not completely free of nuclear weapons, that it's almost at that point. >> this is an important question because i think there are many people on the left who don't see a problem with iran getting a nuclear bomb, that we could live with an iranian nuclear bomb. that's what i call my book on iranian nuclear deal "obamabomb."
i think this was the belief of the obama administration, president obama and his officials that welcome is you has a nuclear bomb, has, pakistan. why can't i may have one? because iran is a state sponsor of terror, iran wants to wipe other nations of the face of the earth. it may not be possible to stop iran from getting a nuclear bomb but we have to do everything possible to slow the day that that happens and to deny it, all nuclear technology. this deal lets it gets lots of nuclear technology and build lots of nuclear bombs. that's why this deal is a fraud and has to be stopped. i am very worried about the day when they test the weapon. i think that is coming anything have to be pragmatic. the first thing we have to do is to kill or substantially renegotiate this nuclear deal so we can slow it, not stop that day from coming. >> i think we have a good opportunity here, as long as we do this in game before the protocol conclusion. once you have agreed that is a peaceful nuclear program where
iaea estate it's a peaceful nuclear program, it's going to be too difficult to roll back anything of that. some have about, much less in eight years time to deal with, but we have after the election of rouhani just a couple of times. those two next years are ripe for that. >> yes, this woman right here, here. >> thank you. i think there's a -- claire with security policy. there's an element would not discuss and it doesn't have to do with technology or engineering, but it is rather the ideology of the regime. in other words, what is its character? what is its definition? we can look to its own constitution for that definition, which is a jihadist regime that seeks to impose sharia on the entire world. that's what it's constitution says. so with that in mind and understand that the iranian
nuclear weapons program has been clandestine line since the date it was born in the 1980s, what are we doing to verify or to investigate or at least to consider what iran is doing clandestinely in the sites that are nothing to do with the jcpoa, but where very likely additional enrichment activities and nuclear warhead continued. what can we say about those things, if anything? >> iran is a big country, 1000 kilometers this this way and i think about 400 that way. you cannot go and check every nook and cranny there. you cannot knock on every door in the country to find out whether there's enrichment going on or not. so this information, you have to
have a good intelligence, you have to use all measures which you have to place to find out if there is something clandestine i'm going. and then after that you need to have access. at at this point of time we don't know how much iaea is doing because we'll see anything about comedy accesses were done. how many of them went to declare to sites, which is thing to handle, and how to deal with the so-called undeclared sites. but you can't, you know, just try to fix them by random every other mechanical works into the country like that and hope that you will find it. no, you have to have information enough for that access. >> i would just add that without anytime, anywhere inspections,, inspections and military sites, we will never be able to answer these questions. >> i want to clarify one thing. there is no exclusion under safeguards agreement for a
military sites. iaea has access to every location in the territory of the state, or other areas which are under its control, which might be outside of the territory of the state. so the question is then how you exercise of this right. in order to exercise it you need to have information. >> okay spirit and will. >> i would add though that iran's strategy is to make it very hard for the iaea to access medically sites, and it was one of their red lines in the negotiations. i think the administration gave far too much on that. so i would say that the iaea needs even in the absence of information, needs to assert its rights to visit military sites. it can start with partition where it needs to finish its job. -- parchin.
it could say the jcpoa has conditions in it, banning certain types of hikes was a work related to nuclear weapons, and electronic work, in order to verify the jcpoa they need to visit military sites or those kinds of activities take place. so i would say that it's important that the iaea assert its about to go to these plays in the short term and that the u.s. support that. and, of course, it's going to be a confrontation but i think it's, without that confrontation now, you're going to end up with an unverified agreement. if you want to have a confrontation later, it will probably inevitably end up in some kind of military confrontation. >> this man right here. >> thank you. so we are listening, listening to all this and we hear it in a rarefied atmosphere, but i'd
like to ask a question that is a little bit out there. imagine that iran, great jihadi state sponsor of terrorism all over the world, find a way to produce large numbers of small nuclear weapons and gets them in the hands of lots of terrorism around the world. what would a world look like if that were to happen? >> that would be a very ugly world. it's not a world that any of us would want to live in. >> actually, last week i was briefing the u.n. security council on terrorism, and how the various states protect their critical infrastructure. actually, you don't need to have a number of such devices, two or three. threat is the one which counts.
plus the unpredictable. you don't know where do they strike, when they strike, how they strike, whom they strike. that will be tremendous dolomite. >> what you propose is why we can't tolerate iran having a nuclear program i could produce nuclear weapons. and i might add each weapons could also be used as an electromagnetic pulse weapons to set off an electrical charge that could knock out the electrical system, possibly most of the trend if they could eventually mount them and rocketed in the middle east. as a state sponsor of terror that should be special rules. and, frankly, i think the u.s. position should be if you violate your nonproliferation treaty obligations you are not entitled to peaceful nuclear technology. you have broken the deal. you're not getting anything. you are cut off. >> we have time for one more question. let me try this man right here.
>> james. my question is along the lines of the fact that over the last eight years for many reasons, may be politically is on the part of the united states and other factors, that the whole international order that has coerced bad actors from doing bad things, treaty through treaties has been unraveling so with north korea violating agreements. we have china and russia developing missiles without violating the international range missile treaty o treaty od other examples of that. we have the american government doing or allowing things, showing weakness for example, the syrian redline and now this agreement. and then we have secretary kerry, for example, perpetuate, perpetuated this idea of american weakness when you practically yelled at congressman and others accusing them of one to sabotage the agreement because this is the only agreement we could get out
of it. if we don't do this, he perpetuate this idea of weakness on the part of the united states. my question is, i would really in a weak position? and what steps can we do to really take back the initiative and to play hardball with iran to prevent them from coming up with creating a nuclear weapon and further promoting terrorism and destabilizing the middle east? what can we do that will really, can we and what can we do to be effective in doing that? >> united states as leader of the free world. we are a superpower. we simply have to assert ourselves, go to our european allies, go to alice in the middle east and say there's a new sheriff in town, the trend is no longer going to appease iran and agree to compromise to get some kind of agreement, any agreement just because we want to have an agreement. we will get a good agreement or to stop going to be an agreement. there will be tough sanctions.
as with president trump and the staff can do. that's what the last administration was incapable of doing. because they were interested in nothing but leading from behind, appeasing our enemies and getting at agreement at all costs and, frankly, as i said i think obama decided to concede the bomb to iran because he didn't think it was a problem as other states had nuclear weapons. .. and charting a new course. so i think it is critical that they do that. i also think it is critical
that they finish iran policy review. and consider all the different options and make a decision. but i would agree with fred that a lot of the is going to come down to that the us just has to assert its authority and stop this constant claim that if we do anything that you will unravel. as i think some of it is literally just saying no to quote nancy reagan. >> thank you and on that optimistic note join me in thanking the panelists. excellent comments. [applause]